The break room at work has always been a mecca for employees. Replacing the water cooler, the coffee machine is now the center point for conversations about the latest sports victories or losses, who went home on some reality show, or which poor soul met their end on The Walking Dead.
Gone are the days of gathering around the old brewer with the stained communal coffee pot half filled with some dark brew of mysterious origins. They’re being replaced by the single cup brewing systems flanked by arrays of different coffee flavors and flavoring options.
Now that the customization options have spoiled people, what happens when the coffee machine breaks down? If the plethora of shirts and coffee mugs are to be believed, you don’t want to associate with the people before they’ve had their coffee. The only option is to make a coffee run. If you find yourself the unfortunate soul selected to make this pilgrimage to Starbucks, here are some tips to pull it off successfully.
Write it down
As we said, people are spoiled and want what they want at this point. Running down to the gas station and filling 18 cups with the “signature roast” just won’t do it.
With the growing number of made up words used to describe coffee options, get a piece of paper and write down what people want. Once written, let them review it to ensure there are no mistakes
Better yet, order online
As we’re plunging headfirst into the Internet and ecommerce eras, many traditionally brick and mortar stores are getting a continually expanding online presence. Take advantage of this and find a coffee shop that will allow you to place your order online for pickup. This way your finicky co-workers can choose their own special orders without you having to remember who wants the half-caf soy latte with extra whip and who wants the dreaded pumpkin spice.
Make sure it’s close
While iced coffee has enjoyed something of a resurgence, there are few things as jarringly horrible as expecting a warming sip of hot coffee and being greeted with something lukewarm. If you choose a coffee shop that’s too far away, those cheers your greeted with upon your arrival may just turn into that same cold stare you get from your significant other when you tell them the in-laws are coming to stay for the holidays.
Figure out transportation
The only thing worse than coming back with warm coffee is coming back with no coffee. If you don’t take some time to figure out the logistics of fitting a crop of freshly harvested coffee cups in your car before you go, the only thing you may get in the end is sticky car interior and a public lynching from your co-workers. Unless you have a car with 16 cup holders, grab a couple of boxes before you go.
Coffee has become a necessity in any work environment at this point, fueling inspiration and conversation. Having a contingency plan for when the coffee maker inevitably fails lets you turn this catastrophe into a time to shine and be the hero of the office.